The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Sam Quigley

New Oxfam Report on Inequality and Extreme Wealth Proves the Need to Tax the Rich

“Extreme wealth is crippling our world, and we must raise taxes on those at the top to combat it.”

Today, Oxfam released a comprehensive report, “Survival of the Richest,” outlining the state of wealth inequality globally and proposed potential solutions to this problem, namely, taxing the rich. This report comes on the opening day of the World Economic Forum’s retreat in Davos, Switzerland, where the ultra-wealthy and world leaders meet to discuss how to best solve the world's problems.

Some stunning figures from the report include:

  • Since 2020, 63 percent of all new wealth has gone to the top 1 percent, leaving only 37 percent for the rest of the world combined.
  • Billionaire wealth has increased by $2.7 billion per day, while over 1.7 billion people live in countries where their wages, adjusted for inflation, have declined.
  • Three-quarters of the world’s governments are planning on making $7.8 trillion in cuts to public sector funding, like healthcare and education, over the next five years. This comes as marginal tax rates on the highest incomes fall, from 38% to 31% in Africa over the last 25 years, and from 51% to 27% in Latin America since the 1980s.
  • Only 4 percent of tax revenue worldwide comes from taxing wealth, while 44% comes from regressive consumption taxes.

In response, Morris Pearl, the Chair of the Patriotic Millionaires and a former managing director at BlackRock, Inc., released the following statement:

“The scale of inequality outlined in Oxfam’s report is horrendous- extreme wealth is crippling our world, and we must raise taxes on those at the top to combat it.

The rich are exploiting these times of crisis to make themselves richer at the expense of billions. If we remain passive as the rich keep getting richer, the foundations of society will continue to break down. Infrastructure, education, social cohesion, and even democracy have already begun to crumble under the weight of wealth disparity.

Our current methods of taxation are not cutting it anymore - the rich keep getting richer while people who work for a living are falling further and further behind. We echo Oxfam’s call to make our society more stable by taxing the rich. A tax on the obscene wealth the ultra-rich have accrued is the only way to protect the stability of our communities and world.”

The Patriotic Millionaires is a group of high-net worth Americans who share a profound concern about the destabilizing level of inequality in America. Our work centers on the two things that matter most in a capitalist democracy: power and money. Our goal is to ensure that the country's political economy is structured to meet the needs of regular Americans, rather than just millionaires. We focus on three "first" principles: a highly progressive tax system, a livable minimum wage, and equal political representation for all citizens.

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